Irminsul talks about his creative process and why the value of the art is more than a commodity.

What does music mean to you personally?

A celebration of the synthesis between dance form and instrument. The Saltarello is a historic Renaissance dance expressed by jumping to a downbeat, which can be done in groups. As I began this composition, that was pretty much it. But shortly, the spirit of the piano began taking over. It had something to interject into the dance, most certainly. So I let it. The result was a more developed journey through that dance, creating a bit of a short story.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Only inasmuch as fantasy can be a way to describe visualization, which is a vital part of magic. I believe that creating and performing music is a magical act.

If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?

A sculptor.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

No. I am constantly amazed and sustained, that younger people are flocking to classical music to a degree not even their parents did.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

There is a role, but it would be a mistake to confuse it with its role in the age of its birth. The world is no longer the political, cultural and sociological place it was then. Modern classical music hobbyists don’t so much play to the music, but the experience which motivated it’s creation in the past. The drip drip drip of a gloomy rainy Paris day that coaxed Chopin to write rainy preludes. Billowy shirts and quill pens, candlelight and parchment scores. Therefore it would be probably delusional to think that we are recreating this Great Age. However, in writing modern classical music we are pulling from the pool of that experience, and creating based on the tremendous spiritual energies that fomented the music the first time. That, to me, is the true Enlightenment.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what  would come to your mind?

Arvo Paart. He snatched the spirit of the classical era but gilded it in his own style and expression. He made classical, new.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Yes, it’s everything. Simply studying Bach counterpoint and reproducing it may give someone a head rush, but it won’t amount to art in the end. It would be derivative at most.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

By assisting project performances with younger performers. They usually go where others of their age go, and will show up to support them if they are performing. American Classical Idol?

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

For me it all starts with a melodic phrase. It might sound strange, but it must survive the “Night Cycle”. I don’t allow myself to jump up and write it. I sleep on it for one night. If I remember it easily the next day and it still moves me, it gets developed.
I do have a favorite original piece – “Fantasy For a Lost Grotto”. I was musing about the idea behind Debussy’s work “The Sunken Cathedral”. Something sublime, underwater and forgotten. A melody surfaced and quickly morphed into phases of itself, that ended up being a musical novelette.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

Sounds wonderful! I have been hired for years to play classical piano for local dance studios and their teachers, students and aspiring professionals to practice their “free form”. I know they also often use musicians to accompany live model art classes. It’s a wonderful idea to take much further.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Go to live local performances. They happen everywhere I have ever lived, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open. Classical music is a living art form and it still breathes if you stay aware. Attend several, hopefully of different styles and cultures. Determine what is a fit for you, and what is not.

 Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Unfortunately that is true, and I see it as the inevitable crass marketization of our time. In visual art we used to call this “art by the pound [as a unit of weight]“. Many orchestras only plan seasons by the number of people they might draw rather than the more sublime value of the music they are considering. Composition “contests” are fleecing composers for the benefit of contests which rely on their version of “likes” or popular votes rather than the judgment of peers. We do live in the world of matter, and in an economy. We have to live and pay our bills. But, the great thing about art is it’s value as more than a commodity. The minute that it is seen that way, it dies as art.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

That they, at least, listen. They don’t have to like it, but at least give it an ear. iPhones off, please.

 What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I’m currently developing a three keyboard performance on the idea of The Lost Civiilization of Lemuria, something very popular here in my home on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Highly experimental, as it utilizes our island habit of music for meditative and visualization purposes. Audiences will often “trance out” and it may give you the wrong impression that they are sleeping.

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Tao Mijares talks about why the new art-music will be tight to the media production, how to apply the creativity to the filtration and selection of all the influences around and how to identify the real valuable music and generate a taste for the musical work in the audience.

What does music mean to you personally?
Music is the most ethereal and spiritual of all the fine arts. Work with sounds, as an art-music
composer, is working with the most subtle of all the substances: Sounds and silence.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Of course not! It is about science, harmony, structure, imagination, yes, but an organized
one; all these elements should be put at the service of an aesthetic idea to express a universe of
human feelings. Music is an absolutely complex phenomenon, a blend of precision, creativity,
and expression. We are talking about art-music, not about the commercial music which the main
goal is to make money, a totally different approach.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
Maybe an astrophysicist or a Neurosurgeon.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
Of course I am worried. However, I believe that the same way Bach music was preserved and
rediscovered, even if the art-music almost disappear, somehow, the Universe will re-position it
on the test of the general audience, through the real music lovers.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see
that there is a transformation of this role?
Nowadays, if we talk about the music composed in the last 5 years, for example, it is almost
reclused to a very, extremely reduced audience. However, there is a field where (Believe it or
not) there is space for this music to be fully appreciated for all kind of audiences, that is the film
music. I’ve noticed that some very complicated serial music is used from time to time for certain
kind of ,believe or not again, in the most commercial movies. Video games is another amazing
field that can cast contemporary music to be tasted by almost all the audiences; thus, in my
humble opinion, the new art-music, will be tight to the media production. I wish, at some point,
there was a movement, or maybe a person or an institution that will take all that music to the
concert halls a massive scale (From time to time, effectively, quality music from famous films, are
taken to the big philharmonics around the world) Now, if we want to talk about art music at all
times, I believe it will survive the eons; hopefully I am not being too optimistic!

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is
getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

I believe that creators, composers from all times, were always the new face and that this is a process that repeats today. What I don’t trust is the novelty for the novelty itself. When a composer tries „to be original, to be the new face of a movement,“ of necessity it will be a failure and won’t prosper. However, when a creator absolutely mindless regarding how „new or unique“ his aesthetic language is, but just stick to himself, after a long study of the music in general and letting him/herself permeate from the influence of the biggest music geniuses of the history, the new style, the new musical proposal, will emerge triumphant and eternal.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the
role of creativity in the musical process for you?
As I said above, they have to be faithful to themselves. Maybe now, the creativity should be
applied more to the filtration and selection, the decantation of all the influences around, trying
to identify the real valuable from the useless ones. Unfortunately, there are plenty of very
„famous“ composers whose work is basically worthless, but that are very well sold by the
mainstream media; teach young generations of composers to recognize the universal value from
the passing fashion with no deep value, should be a must. The creativity, I believe, per se and
regarding the musical oeuvre, is warrantied with the new generations.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the
classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
Again, accordingly to what I said before, probably what we need to do is just create awareness that young generations are already being exposed to art music in quality films, quality video games, in some advertising (Music from Ludwig, Wolfgang, and even Orff, are very often used in a number of commercials) and some global streaming systems like YouTube, propose very good new art music as a background music for video creations. If only the young musicians were aware of this motley variety of music, I believe it would result in an amazing impulse to art music.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?
I could talk about the motivation to approach a piece. It could be an idea revolving in my mind or a commissioned work; in both cases the motivation is clear. Now, regarding the real creative process, I have to confess that I have no idea what it is. Somehow the music handles to flow while I am in a sort of stupor, numbness, unconsciousness, something like that. As a matter of fact, there are some of my compositions that I have no idea what was I thinking when I composed them; actually, some of them, like „5 ESTAMPAS NORESTENSES“ and the Symphonic Poem „Quetzalcóalt“ were born like that… and then again, I really don’t know how they were born.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?
I am a strong believer, as Scriabin was, for instance, that music has both powers to be appreciated: By itself and as a part of a multidisciplinary work. Ballets and Opera are a great example of that approach based on the mediatic resources the composers, back those days had. Why not combine all the numerous media mean we can dispose of nowadays, with art music? The results, if it is done well, are always astonishing.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
To pay attention all around; movies, video games, some ads, the internet, everywhere. Art music actually can be discovered in almost any place. Starting from there, to explore, to search, to educate themselves. Nowadays the have amazing tools for that purpose. All the have to do, is be aware of what they are hearing.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?
I believe that, especially if you are making a living out of music composition, you need some degree of commercialization that won’t compromise your integrity as a creator but that allows you to generate a taste for your work in the audience. Let’s say that for professional musicians is a necessary evil.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
Just for them to give some of their precious time to listen to my work; that solely will be an honor.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment with your projects?
As a part of the creative process, I guess, all is experimentation, all should be the splendid experience of the new; after all, composing is creating, thus, experimenting new horizons

 

 

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Interview with Australian composer Margaret Brandman

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What does music mean to you personally?

“Music is part of the fabric of my being. As a composer, I always have of my compositions running through my mind, or the idea for a new one emerges. Music provides me with a source of relaxation, emotional support, physical prowess (hands and fingers), mental stimulation in many ways, an encouragement to move and dance, and an opportunity to be uplifted. You can get a sense of this when you listen to Lyric Fantasy for piano and String Orchestra”

http://margaretbrandman.com/books/lyric_fantasy.html on my album SENSATIONS.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

“I would not be able to say that ALL music is about fantasy. Much music is composed within the natural laws of acoustics, that we all react to, and composers will often deal with music in set geometric patterns or structures. The result may be music of a ‘fantasy nature’ but it may not have been composed that way. On the other hand, music that stems from the point of view of improvisation, would more likely be all about fantasy. Again my work Lyric Fantasy would be a good example of this. ”

If you were not a professional musician, what profession would have interested you?

“Archeologist or architect as I have a fascination with history and also with design. As a composer, I construct architectural forms with in my compositions.”

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

“No, I think that good music will always be appealing. Younger people will mature; at that point in time, their musical tastes will change and therefore they will quite possibly discover classical music as a contrast to all the pop music they listened to in their youth. I also think we need to expose younger children to this wide range of music, so they will grow up being familiar with some of the classical repertoire.
Also as far as my future is concerned, I am composing new an accessible contemporary classical music all the time and getting great reactions to my new music. So I am looking forward to composing and performing much more music in the future. ”

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

“Audiences are still appreciating the large body of music that has been composed over the past 500 years. So I feel there will always be a place for classical music but new classical music also needs to find a niche in the programming, to excite and challenge listeners. I would say my Firestorm Symphony from my album SENSATIONS has many of these elements. http://margaretbrandman.com/firestorm.html

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways, what would come to your mind?

“I think there is a natural transformation in classical music, as composers blend of classical influences and modern genres – jazz, latin-american, blues and rhythmic music of all sorts. So the definition of classical music these days is much broader than it was.
As an example, my pieces Autumn Rhapsody and Spirit Visions incorporate both classical and Latin-American influences.
http://margaretbrandman.com/spiritvisions.html http://margaretbrandman.com/autumnrhapsody.html

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

“As I am a composer, I am always creating music, and it is a joy to be able to perform my own works. I also incorporate a great deal of improvisation into my playing, and many of my works begin with an improvised theme. I am not a musician who can be satisfied with merely reproducing works of other composers. I believe that all performers should be improvisers as well, and they can then perform written works as if they were improvised, giving the works a fresh interpretation.
Example : Flights of Fancy for Flute and Piano, incorporates structures improvisation. http://margaretbrandman.com/books/flights.html

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

“I think musicians can attract a younger generation into concerts, if they include music that has rhythmic interest, and can catch their imagination by relating to the books and movies they might be reading or watching. ”

Tell us about your creative process.

“My creative process when writing a purely instrumental work, often begins with improvising at the piano until the main motif for the work presents itself. After that I will begin the composition process to develop the ideas, working to balance unity and variety. At other times, a theme might occur to me in the early morning waking hours and then I will need to go to the piano to flesh it out. When working on my songs, I am usually inspired by the lyrics, which will suggest a key and a mood for the work. This has been particularly evident in my recent 12 songs for the Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac Song Cycle, which was premiered by baritone Martin Cooke in a very special concert in Sydney on the 3rd of September. Also, when writing songs, I am mindful of the range and capabilities of the singer for whom I am writing the songs.”

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: Music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

“I too love the combination of classical music with different disciplines. In general I believe music combines well with many disciplines and can enhance the participants’ experience. For instance, in the You-tube clips of my contemporary classical music I certainly make use film to add another dimension to the music. Classical music and poetry combine well, and the outcome is usually a new song.
I enjoy collaborating with my lyricist- astrologer Benita Rainer and find the writing process quite satisfying. It is good if my lyricist is not dogmatic about her lyrics and lets my musical considerations take precedence. We work well as she is flexible and accommodating. In the long run I am happy if I can have quality control over the presentation of the final product.”

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

“I think young people will understand classical music if they learn an instrument or learn to sing to gain an understanding of the processes involved. Therefore I think education is the key. Also, something that goes back to the mid 20th Century, was Walt Disney’s use of the classics with the animated features. This is something that many people of my generation were exposed to, and became a very easy way for young people to get to know many classical pieces. For instance The Scorcerer’s Apprentice. Perhaps the younger generation,should revisit the animated Disney works. http://listverse.com/2009/06/30/10-best-uses-of-classical-music-in-classic-cartoons/

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

“I think it has always been the case that composers need to advertise their new works whether it be by putting on concerts, or getting reviews for their works. So for several hundred years, classical music has been a ‘consumer product’ where as folk music has been more of a shared village experience for telling stories or for dances. In earlier centuries music was a consumer product for the rich, who often were patrons of the arts. In my case, I am aiming to ‘sell’ my product to radio stations for airplay and to film producers who are looking for powerful movie themes. ”

Do you have expectations with regards to your listeners, your audience?

“My hope is that my music will touch the listener and trigger a happiness response. My expectation is that they will leave a concert on a high and possibly have one of my melodies on automatic replay in their minds after a concert or after listening to my CD’s.”

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

“I have a recording project with Parma Recordings to produce my Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac Song cycle, which has been recently premiered. The Prague Choir will be recording choral versions of the songs, and Baritone Martin Cooke and I will be recording the solo voice and piano versions of the songs, in Prague in August/September 2017 I will be involved in the recording process as supervisor for the choir and as accompanist for Martin Cooke in the solo versions of the songs.
I am planning a new song cycle for Martin Cooke, of 6 songs, 3 in English and 3 in German.”

For more information please visit: www.margaretbrandman.com

 

Country:Germany

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The conceptual opera “Audioguide III”, by German composer Johannes Kreidler, ends with the disruption of 66 violins. Does this serve the Kantian philosophical underground of the work?

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Wandering around the internet, one can make some quite unexpected encounters. My most recent one has been with German composer Johannes Kreidler. I had never heard of him, despite the fact that he seems to be quite accomplished. What captured my attention was the video of his Music Theatre piece Audioguide III, which you can find here in its entirety: https://youtu.be/OJWDrNNYFmE

Now, I confess, it took all my good will and then some to listen to the whole thing, but I honestly wanted to give it a chance to see if the end of the piece was somewhat justified. After all, you don’t get to see that kind of spectacle every day. As the author describes it on his website (http://www.kreidler-net.de/werke/audioguide3.htm), this is a conceptual opera, a collage of the present built on small and large modules, different every time. Infused with philosophical essence, the climax should be a cathartic destruction of 66 violins.

This is where I have a problem: how is it cathartic to demolish a work of art? I’m sure these were inexpensive factory instruments, but even those hold, at their very core, 300 years of expertise, science and craftsmanship. Let’s pretend that this was not a relevant issue; another question I have is: what kind of message is passing on with this piece?

As stated by the composer, emotional forces, trauma and revenge lead to these actions, associating the ravages with a mix of pleasure and pain. One could argue that the history of opera is full of ambiguous models and that, after all, this is just one more to add to the pile. However, Kant, who seems to be a fil rouge throughout the piece, is, in my opinion, distorted to support the composer’s thoughts – or, worse, to justify intellectually a pure spectacle that otherwise could not be backed up by any logic.

The feelings of the beauty, cited by Mr. Kreidler, are for Kant always joyous and smiling. Maybe he is referring to the feelings of the sublime, which can provoke enjoyment but with horror. And this is where he falls short in his association of beauty or sublime and catharsis: given the day-to-day horror show running under our eyes in the news, who could enjoy or take any more of this destruction orgy? Since when violence became cathartic?

Perhaps I am too naive, but destruction only makes me sad or angry, I do not find beauty and certainly not catharsis in it and I surely hope other people do not either.

Country:Italy

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Granelli di Senape
Performed by Lucia Wisse
Composed by Stefano Ottomano
Woman : Lucia Wisse
Man : Alberto Pulvirenti
Director/editor : Arash Tagarian
Camera : Klaas Arie Westland

Beauludget Productions
all rights reserved